06/23/2011 5:24PM

Del Mar adding new bets


Del Mar is adding two new bets for its summer meeting – a 50-cent pick five with a 14 percent takeout, and a head-to-head bet on Saturday’s featured race – and will offer a $50,000 supplement to the pick six each Sunday on days without a carryover.
The additions were announced at Thursday’s meeting of the California Horse Racing Board, and will start on opening day, July 20.
The pick five with a reduced takeout was launched at the current Hollywood Park spring-summer meeting, and has proven to be popular, with pools averaging $202,389 for the first 38 days of the Hollywood meet, through Thursday. The bet is conducted on the first five races at Hollywood Park and will have a similar schedule at Del Mar.
“This has proven to be very successful, and we intend to host the same bet,” according to Del Mar’s director of marketing, Craig Dado.
Hollywood Park has a consolation for pick five tickets with four winners, but Del Mar will not have a consolation provision. So far, Hollywood Park has had one pick five carryover, $107,487 on May 8, which resulted in an additional $799,630 wagered on the next racing day, May 12.
The head-to-head bet will include two horses in the Saturday feature race, with the participants selected by the Del Mar racing office, Dado said. The bet will have a takeout of 10 percent. A similar bet has been offered by the Breeders’ Cup on its autumn championship days. Focus-group studies indicated a high interest in such a bet, Dado said.
The $50,000 supplement to the pick six is designed to attract more betting by offering a bigger payout. Dado described California’s pick six “as essentially the national pick six,” a status he said that Del Mar was “concerned we could give up in the long term.”
He said the $50,000 supplement to the Sunday pick six pool will be distributed as a bonus for winning tickets. As an example, he said that in the event that 25 tickets correctly selected all six winners, each ticket would receive an additional $2,000. In the event a carryover occurs from Saturday to Sunday, the supplement will not be offered, but the supplement would be included in a carryover from a Sunday to the following day of racing, Dado said.
“We like this bet,” Dado told the racing board. “We need to get some buzz around the pick six. We think this will do it. Players can plan for it.”
Del Mar is scheduled to run five-day weeks, Wednesday through Sunday, from July 20 through Sept. 7, and will run seven-race programs on the final three Fridays – Aug. 19 and 26 and Sept. 2 – and possibly on some Thursdays, according to the track’s director of racing, Tom Robbins. On Fridays, Del Mar will have a first post time of 4 p.m., and will offer concerts after the races each week. In the past, the track has shifted first post on Fridays to 3:30 p.m. toward the end of the meeting to allow for eight-race programs at a time of the year with earlier sunsets.